For Orthodox clergy and laity the Parish Development Forum is a conference which provides an opportunity for discussion of timely topics and discovery of practices used by healthy, vibrant Orthodox parishes.
The 2022 Forum will be a one day online conference that will occur Friday June 17, 2022 between 10:00 AM and 5:15 PM EDT via Zoom.
Online Registration for the 2022 Parish Development Forum is now open.
Theme: The Orthodox Parish as a Vessel of Ministry—Increasing Our Capacity for Ministry
Ministry seems like a simple term. But ask someone in your parish “what is ministry” and you’ll get a variety of answers. We know it is not just "the priest's job" and more than "church school, choir, and parish council."
Can we learn to also see ministry as not a suggestion or even a recommendation, but rather a duty? A commandment?
Returning parishioners and newcomers yearning for expanded, updated and renewed ministries may be one the most significant opportunities for the Church in recent years.
The theme of the Forum has been chosen to complement the theme of the OCA's 20th All-Amerian Council: Parishes as Vessels of Grace.
Understanding and Motivating Ministry
The 2022 Forum will seek to heighten awareness of and interest in ministry as a critical, not optional, element of parish life and mission. We will explore:
- Why is ministry—often under emphasized in the past—“suddenly" of critical importance to our parish?
- Connecting personal talents and gifts with effective ministry opportunities
- Overcoming ministry resistance
- Enlivening new ministries
Keynote Christian Life Discipleship and Ministry
Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of the Midwest, will offer the keynote address. His Grace will highlight how discipleship and ministry is easily traceable to the earliest Christian communities. Also addressed will be the question of how Christian discipleship and the ministries that arise from it can be better understood and enhanced within the context of Orthodox parish communities today.
Three Tracks of Encouraging Ministry
Three parallel content facilitated tracks each including three sessions will be offered. Subject matter experts will contribute brief presentations and lead attendee discussion. Attendees will have an opportunity to dig deeply into areas of interest. Exploration questions and reflective articles concerning track content will be provided to attendees in advance.
Track A: Doing Active Ministry—Personal, Internal, External
This track will explore and provide practical advice for those actively serving in ministry. Segments include encouraging vocational ministry in the local neighborhood, connecting generations with one another for mutual support, and offering a ministry of presence to those in need into the parish.
This track is of particular interest for those interested in doing active ministry. Clergy, ministry leaders and ministry centric parishioners.
Track B: Rethinking Education as Ministry—Adults and Youth.
Education is a critical element of ministry in the parish. We will examine post-pandemic changes in religious education and ways faith can be lived in action. The role of a fully functional diaconal ministry and the need for Orthodox youth to be empowered witnesses in their communities will be explored.
This track is of particular interest for Church school directors, teachers and clergy looking to strengthen parish education as well as all interested parish leaders.
Track C: Leading, Managing and Coordinating Ministries.
In a context of identifying principles and good practices for strengthening your parish’s capacity for ministry, this track will delve into issues associated with effectively coordinating and leading ministries in the parish: Setting goals. Staffing. Equipping those in ministry. Selecting ministries that fit the parish resources and local context. Brainstorming to stimulate exploration of fresh ministries. Dealing with obstacles and challenges.
This track will be of particular interest to priests, ministry coordinators and parish leadersdesiring to increase the parish's capacity and thirst to do ministry.
Send Multiple Representatives
Participation by multiple parish leaders will enable the parish maximum exposure to Forum track content.
Budget Friendly Registration
Registration is open to clergy or lay leaders from any Orthodox jurisdiction and includes various budget-friendly freewill pricing options. Select the option that best fits your situation. Each attendee must register.
Most sessions will be recorded. Registered attendees will have access to recordings.
Login credentials for the conference will be sent to registrants a few days before the event.
Questions and enquiries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org